My Lenten Roses have bloomed just in time.


Lent begins today. To me, it’s the second holiest Christian season–Easter is the first. Easter is mystery. Lent is our human preparation for the mystery.

Lent is 40 days long. That’s how long Christ, after his baptism, fasted and prayed and lived in the wilderness. While he was there, he was tempted by Satan, offered the world.

Once the sole provenance of liturgical churches, Lent is gaining popularity with not just Protestants, but also secular communities. As a Christian, I’m cool with the cultural appropriation of the practice, and am even a little amused when non-Christians participate. It’s a commemoration of a serious sacrifice, not a season of self-improvement. BUT why not? Self-discipline and self-improvement and self-denial can be great for our growth. And if we are growing in our hearts, and growing in knowledge, I suspect that Jesus would give us a big thumbs up.

Like so many Roman Catholic children, I gave up things like candy for Lent. Later, after I moved on to other liturgical churches, I made Lent a time of spiritual self-inventory and bible study. Also, over the past few years I’ve given up everything from Chocolate to sugar to potato chips. (No matter what I give up, I always gain like five pounds. Obviously, I overcompensate with protein.) Several of my friends give up social media–While up to two or three years ago social media was a troublesome idol for me, it’s not so much any more. Social media is an aspect of my job, in addition to being (mostly) enjoyable. (I’ve also been on way less since this last election.)

This year, I’m giving up one of my most challenging habits: Going to bed long after midnight. I tarried a while with the idea that maybe I’m actually a night person who could sleep in the morning, but I really do get tired around 11, and I’m in terrible shape by  1:00 a.m. I do come by the habit honestly. My mother is a night owl, and I do like to work in the quiet hours. But I don’t necessarily do my best work then.

It’s going to take a lot of discipline and adjustment and prayer. I’ll need to automate my blog posts so they show up on Facebook and Twitter first thing in the morning. And I’ll have to get going first thing, as soon as I open my eyes.Wish me luck!

Tell me–what, if anything, are you giving up for Lent?  Why?



February 28th Words

Journal: 40 words

Long fiction: (Edited 1 chapter)

Short fiction: 0 words

Non-fiction: 0 words

Blogging: 431

Excercise: 22 minutes yoga

6 thoughts on “Lent”

  1. skyecaitlin says:

    Your Lenten Roses are lovely and timely. I am a Roman Catholic, too, Laura, and I went to Mass to receive my Ashes early this morning. It was concelebrated, and I adore my Parish; MSGR, aka Fr. has a very enlightening manner and he spoke about sacrifice and giving up things that may be holding us back. He told us to ‘shake things up’ and to remove any behaviors that may be negative ( like thinking too much). I am trying very hard to give up being obsessive compulsive and a perfectionist.

    1. Laura Benedict says:

      “Giving up things that may be holding us back.” That’s perfect. I hope your Lent is full of blessings that give you lots of hope and strength.

  2. JT Ellison says:

    I’m one of the social media giver-uppers. I feel the same, gibing up candy or wine is great, but this is meant to be a time of reflection, and by turning off that switch, I immediately retreat to a place of peace where I can reflect and repose. I love your plan. Blessed Lent, darling!

    1. skyecaitlin says:

      JT, beautiful. I need to turn off the switch in my mind, and that will be a struggle, but well worth the trouble.

    2. Laura Benedict says:

      You do so well with your no-social media retreats, and always seem to find a great deal of perspective and peace–wonderful. You inspire me!

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